7.1/10
3,517
29 user 35 critic

Under the Volcano (1984)

R | | Drama | 13 June 1984 (USA)
Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wise Blood (1979)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Southerner--young, poor, ambitious but uneducated--determines to become something in the world. He decides that the best way to do that is to become a preacher and start up his own church.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Brad Dourif, John Huston, Dan Shor
The Dead (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Gabriel Conroy and wife Greta attend an early January dinner with friends at the home of his spinster aunts, an evening which results in an epiphany for both of them.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Dan O'Herlihy
The Dresser (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson
Fat City (1972)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith
Phobia (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A psychiatrist involved in a radical new therapy comes under suspicion when his patients are murdered, each according to their individual phobias.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Michael Glaser, Susan Hogan, John Colicos
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two British soldiers in India decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan--a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A wealthy woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side struggles to deal with her new identity and her sexuality after her husband of 16 years leaves her for a younger woman.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary on the life of the alcoholic writer Malcolm Lowry, interspersed with readings of Lowry's work by Richard Burton. Lowry was born and educated in England. He moved to Mexico in ... See full summary »

Directors: Donald Brittain, John Kramer
Stars: Marjorie Bonner, Donald Brittain, John Buchan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Vigil (as Ignacio Lopez Tarzo)
...
James Villiers ...
Dawson Bray ...
Carlos Riquelme ...
Jim McCarthy ...
José René Ruiz ...
Dwarf (as Rene Ruiz 'Tun-Tun')
Eleazar Garcia Jr. ...
Chief of Gardens
Salvador Sánchez ...
Chief of Stockyards (as Salvador Sanchez)
...
Chief of Municipality (as Sergio Calderon)
Araceli Ladewuen Castelun ...
Maria
...
Diosdado (as Emilio Fernandez)
Edit

Storyline

Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic disrepair and obscurity in a small southern Mexican town in 1939. The Consul's self-destructive behaviour, perhaps a metaphor for a menaced civilization, is a source of perplexity and sadness to his nomadic, idealistic half-brother, Hugh, and his ex-wife, Yvonne, who has returned with hopes of healing Geoffrey and their broken marriage. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No se puede vivir sin amar. (One cannot live without love.)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bajo el volcán  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film garnered composer Alex North his thirteenth and final Academy Award nomination. North never won an Oscar until he was awarded an Honorary statuette a year after this film received two Oscar nominations, one for its score and one for Best Actor - Albert Finney. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1939, but the car driven by James Villiers that almost hits Albert Finney as he is lying in the road is an MG-TF, which was manufactured between 1953 and 1956. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Geoffrey Firmin: Are you listening, Fernando?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Notes from Under the Volcano (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When Albert Finney is good, he's very, very good.
5 March 1999 | by (Lucas Buck, NC) – See all my reviews

This is one of those movies that is always in the discount pile, "Any Rental--99cents'. You find it at garage sales and the like, although I never know why. Perhaps it's the atrocious artwork. Seems a lot of video store patrons base their entire rental decisions on the cover art-I've never heard so many uninformed and ludicrous remarks as have been made in the `User Comments' column for the movie `What Happened Was'-a very smart adult drama. Seems the provocative pose of star Karen Sillas on the cover suggested some sort of couples-therapy Skinamax special. Ooh the disappointment of it all.

Anyway, Under the Volcano is also a very smart adult drama. To begin with, Albert Finney's Oscar nominated performance (he did garner an LA Film Critics award), is superb (1985 was the year Amadeus swept). As the terminally alcoholic Geoffrey Fermin, Finney plays quite a different sort of beast than those played famously by Ray Milland (Lost Weekend), Jack Lemmon (Days of Wine and Roses), and Nick Cage (Leaving Las Vegas).

Fermin is adrift in his alcoholism-an educated man, an English Consul, no less, whose losing battle with booze has cost him his job (Consul to Mexico), and his wife. He is at that stage when the bottle is his last and only compadre as it may. He has succumbed to it, long before this drama begins. His resignation is complete, any pretense of normalcy is only a whisper. He is waiting for it to take his life.

Under John Huston's direction, Under the Volcano is basically a one-man show. In support, as Fermin's wife Yvonne, Jacqueline Bisset gives for me the strongest performance of her career.

Highly recommend, but don't expect to come away with sunshine on your shoulders.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
finney teejay6682
Sunglasses HiGuffinition
Roberto Silvi Info? scott-k-3
The ties? makelajanne75
Discuss Under the Volcano (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?